Walter Isaacson, the author of definitive biographies of Steve Jobs and Albert Einstein, finds that brilliant ideas invariably have a history, and that brilliant innovators are people who know how to build on the work of others to turn ideas into reality. As he puts it, “Only in storybooks do inventions come like a thunderbolt.” The Innovators repeatedly shows that coming up with breakthrough ideas is the easy part of innovation. The hard part? Turning those ideas into advances that are practical to implement—practical not only technically, but also commercially. Doing so, Isaacson emphasizes, requires not just an idea, but an ecosystem.
When asked about the difference between innovation and creativity, I often respond in this way: where innovation is societal, creativity is personal. Creativity involves personal expression, where innovation requires the attention and alignment of others for an innovation to serve as intended. I’m looking forward to reading this book.
Marci Segal, MS. Freeing leaders’ thinking so they can create new futures.